COVID-19 in B.C.: More Vancouver care home cases reported as B.C. Coroners Service investigates death of dentist

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      While yet another care facility is reporting a new COVID-19 case, B.C.’s provincial health officer asked for citizens to avoid gathering in groups, particularly over the next two weeks, in order to stem the ongoing rising numbers of cases.

      At today's B.C. COVID-19 update from Victoria, B.C., Dr. Bonnie Henry (who attended the news conference alone without B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix) announced 42 new cases for a total of 659 cases in B.C.

      That includes 339 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 218 cases in the Fraser Health region, 47 on Vancouver Island, 46 in the Interior Health region, and nine in the Northern Health region.

      There are now 64 cases are in hospitals with 26 patients in intensive care units (ICU).

      When asked what the age ranges are for these hospitalized patients, she stated that while she didn’t have specific numbers at that moment (she will provide them at tomorrow’s update), most of the cases are patients who are over 50 years old while there is one case in a child under 10 years of age, and most of the ICU cases are people who are over 60 years old.

      One more person has died at North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre, which brings the provincial total to 14 deaths. She stated that all of the deaths are among individuals who are over 70 years old.

      Nine longterm care homes are now involved with one new staff worker at the Broadway Pentacostal Lodge in Vancouver.

      However, Dr. Henry noted that the number of cases at the Haro Park Centre in Vancouver’s West End, where 28 residents and 27 staff have now tested positive, continues to increase.

      There are currently 55 healthcare workers from longterm care facilities who have tested positive. (Dr. Henry stated that she doesn’t have overall numbers of healthcare worker cases.)

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

      Some encouraging news is that 183 patients have now recovered.

      Dr. Henry clarified that the B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death of a previously mentioned dentist who attended the Pacific Dental Conference, where a COVID-19 outbreak was identified. Whether or not his death was related to COVID-19, Dr. Henry explained, remains to be determined by the investigation.

      While an order is in place for gatherings of 50 or more people to be avoided, Dr. Henry stated that it is imperative that people avoid social holding gatherings (including celebrations and ceremonies), particularly over the next two weeks to slow down the infections.

      Dr. Henry requested all British Columbians to stop gathering in groups, even from groups of 20 to meetings as small as two or three people in parks or homes, while providing support through remote means.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook